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The Calamondin lime is a cross between a sour, loose skinned mandarin and a kumquat, therefore technically making it an orangequat.
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Limau Pagar is small and round to oval in shape, averaging 2-3 centimeters in diameter. When young, the skin is green with slight ridges running lengthwise along the fruit and has many visible oil glands. As the fruit matures, it turns to a golden yellow with smooth and shiny skin. The flesh is pale green to yellow, has multiple segments, and contains small red seeds. Limau Pagar is acidic with sweet and sour notes.
Limau Pagar is available year-round.
Limau Pagar, botanically classified as Fortunella polyandra, is a thornless shrub that is a member of the Rutaceae, or citrus family. Also known as a Malayan kumquat, Marai Kinkan, Nagana Kinkan, Chang Ye Jin Gan, Long-leaves kumquat, Single kumquat, and Hedge lime, Limau Pagar thrives in tropical climates and is mostly used as an ornamental plant in home gardens.
Limau Pagar is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.
Limau Pagar is best suited for raw and pickled preparations. It can be peeled and eaten fresh or depending on the thickness of the skin some prefer to eat the fruit with the skin on. Limau Pagar is also commonly sold in markets to be dried, preserved, and pickled. Limau Pagar pairs well with poultry, seafood, greens, and as an added citrus flavor in stir-fries and noodle dishes. Limau Pagar will keep up to two weeks when stored in a cool and dry place.
In Vietnam, the kumquat plant symbolically represents a family’s lineage and is used during the New Year’s festival Tet. Each part of the plant represents a different generation with the fruits being the grandparents, flowers the parents, and buds the children. It is considered lucky to have both flowers and fruit on the tree, and during the holiday each family places a kumquat tree on their front porch as an ornamental decoration. Many local festivals also take place during this time, and street vendors prepare kumquat wine, candied kumquats, and preserved kumquats to sell in celebration of good fortune.
Limau Pagar is believed to be native to Peninsular Malaysia, but the origins are relatively unknown. Today Limau Pagar can be found in local markets in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.